CHB & PSA Announce Intent to Sue Electron Dam

On October 28, 2020, Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB) and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSA) sent a Notice of Intent to Sue Letter to the energy company, Electron Hydro LLC and Tollhouse Energy Co, the owners and operators of the Electron dam, over pollution from the dam and related construction and maintenance operations.

During a maintenance project at Electron Dam at the end of July, Tollhouse Energy used old artificial turf during a construction project in the river, much of which subsequently washed down stream. CHB and PSA allege that these, and other ongoing pollution discharges, are illegal and have put the health of the river and salmon returning to the river in danger.

To read more on the energy companies’ violations of the Clean Water Act and Resource and Conservation Recovery Act, read our full press release.

CHB is Hiring a Climate Action Coordinator

We are reposting our Climate Action Coordinator job opening as a full-time, project position!

The Climate Action Coordinator will be responsible for engaging communities in Tacoma to inform and develop a comprehensive, robust, innovative, and equitable Climate Justice Plan to address Tacoma’s commitment to reaching its climate goals.

Applications are due by midnight November 11, 2020. Please review the position announcement for more details and for instructions on how to apply.

Tideflats Regulations Vote Fuels Cautious Optimism

On Tuesday, October 20 the Tacoma City Council unanimously voted to renew the Tideflats Interim Regulations, which put a pause on any new “high risk” industries in the Tacoma Tideflats, like fossil fuel storage facilities or chemical manufactures. The vote included a new amendment introduced by Mayor Woodards.

The amendment directed the Planning Commission to evaluate what it would mean to make the Regulations permanent until the Tideflats Subarea Plan process is complete – which is still years away. Further, the amendment orders the Planning Commission to evaluate the impacts of regulating existing high-risk facilities in the Tideflats – including fossil fuel facilities that have gotten a free pass to expand their operations since the Regulations were first adopted three years ago.

The Planning Commission is now in a six-month process to gather information and public input to draft new, non-interim regulations. They will present their findings and recommendations to City Council for a vote during the spring 2021 renewal phase. We believe this is likely our best bet to adopt protections that prohibit existing high-risk facilities from doubling or tripling the amount of fossil fuels they bring through Tacoma – if City Council votes to adopt the Commission’s recommendations.

Safe Comeback for Environmental Justice Camps

For the past two summers, CHB has partnered with the Tacoma Urban League to bring Environmental Justice Camps (EJC) to young ladies in our community. These were full weekend endeavors powered by large groups. Due to Covid, we have been unable to provide full EJCs, but we remain dedicated to providing opportunities for our girls to connect with us and their local water ways. We reshaped our events to follow social distancing regulations, limited group sizes, and meticulously cleaned materials and spaces between uses.

While our numbers might be small, the work effort and passion for a better community remains strong. In early October, several small groups joined CHB in patrolling the waterways of Commencement Bay. Picking up and properly disposing of floating debris, inquiring about port activity, and noting wildlife sightings. During the following weekends, our EJC campers helped plant raingardens at several schools in the Tacoma, in partnership with Defenders of Wildlife. Hundreds of native plants and trees were put into the ground with acres of cardboard and mulch spread across the gardens to prevent and minimize unwanted invasives.

Ramona Bennett and Chad Nelson Stand for Our Sound

Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s online fundraising campaign, Stand for Our Sound, will kick off on Monday, November 9 and run through Giving Tuesday on December 1.

We are honored to welcome Puyallup Tribal Elder Ramona Bennett and Surfrider Foundation CEO Chad Nelson as two of our featured guest speakers for Stand for our Sound.

To learn more about each of these guest speakers and view their videos as they are released, visit the Stand for Our Sound campaign website.

Help us reach our goal of raising $35,000 in support of the policy and technical research that supports the work we do and the actions we take. Make your donation today!